eISSN: 1689-3530
ISSN: 0867-4361
Alcoholism and Drug Addiction/Alkoholizm i Narkomania
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4/2019
vol. 32
 
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abstract:
Original paper

Prevalence of psychoactive substance use among students attending youth correctional centres

Jakub Greń
1
,
Krzysztof Jan Bobrowski
1
,
Krzysztof Ostaszewski
1
,
Agnieszka Pisarska
1

1.
Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology, Public Health Department, Youth Prevention Unit “Pro-M”, Warsaw, Poland
Alcohol Drug Addict 2019; 32 (4): 267-290
Online publish date: 2020/04/29
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Introduction
Development of effective strategies to prevent harm associated with youth substance use requires reliable data on its prevalence. To date, Polish population studies in this regard have not included youth from at-risk groups. This study aimed at examining the prevalence of substance use among Polish students attending special educational centres for young people at risk of social maladjustment i.e. youth sociotherapy centres (MOS) and youth correctional centres (MOW).

Material and methods
The random sample consists of students attending educational centres for at-risk youth in Poland (n = 1721). Data was collected with self-administered questionnaire during school lessons. Analyses of prevalence were conducted separately in two age groups: 12-15 (n = 682) and 16-19 years of age (n = 1039). Gender and type of centre differences were examined by χ2 test. Furthermore, the results of our study have been compared with the ESPAD study results.

Results
Results indicated high prevalence of substance use among young people attending special educational centres. In both age groups analysed, prevalence indicators were higher among students attending MOW (compared to MOS), and among females (than males). Alcohol use prevalence was similar to alcohol use among youth from the general population, but prevalence of risky patterns of substance use (drunkenness, daily smoking, using illegal and new psychoactive substances) was much higher among youth attending both types of special educational centres.

Discussion
Very high substance use indicators among youth from special educational centres might be associated with these youths exposition to psychosocial risk factors such as substance use among peers and adults in the immediate social environment.

Conclusions
Results of our study support the need for preventive interventions focused on reducing the risks and harm associated with substance use among young people at risk of social maladjustment. Periodical continuation of similar studies to monitor the prevalence of these behaviours is recommended.

keywords:

Psychoactive substance use, Prevalence, Youth at-risk

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